New Delhi, July 12: Consumers can seek records of action taken by private telecom service providers (TSP) on their complaints from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India under the RTI Act, the CIC has held.
In a directive seen as a major step opening doors of questioning private companies under the Act, Information Commissioner Basant Seth said it is clear that under the Right to Information Act a consumer, through TRAI, "can access the information on the action taken by the service provider on his complaint".
The Central Information Commission was hearing the plea of Delhi-based Akshay Kumar Malhotra who had sought to know from TRAI the status of his complaints filed with Vodafone related to unsolicited voice calls and SMSes received on his mobile phone which was listed on the Do Not Disturb registry. He had filed various complaints with TRAI.
Through his RTI application having 22 queries spread over six pages he sought to know information relating to not taking action and reasons for the same mentioning certain relevant rules of Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (TCCCPR) rules.
However, the TRAI did not provide desired information. During the hearing, Malhotra cited Section 2(f) of the RTI Act which says "the information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force" adding that the TRAI has the authority to access the information from Vodafone which must be supplied to him."
The TRAI claimed that it has no such authority under the TRAI Act. It said such information cannot be called from the service provider solely for providing information under the RTI Act.